Should I quit my job?


As I mentioned in my cancer and finances post, the last time we were faced with a cancer diagnosis, I practically quit my job by reducing my hours to 1-2 days per week. I needed to be there for Mr. German, plus I was too upset to work more than that.

This was doable because my old company was a small ~25 person company. They knew that either they let me work reduced hours, or I’d quit.

Now, I work for a large international company with a HR department. My employer does not do reduced hours. It’s pretty much I work my hours or they find someone else who can.

So, it’s time to quit!

I think.

I still need to meditate on this, but it seems to be the best way for us to bring simplicity to our lives.

Mr. German and I work far away from each other, and we both have long commutes in opposite directions. In the near past, we have had lots of stress and arguments about where to live. If I quit, we are no longer bound to this town and will move within walking/biking distance of Mr. German’s office. Thus, optimizing our lives (as Mr. Money Mustache would say).

Of course, it seems maybe counter intuitive for the non-sick one of us to quit. At first I also assumed it would be better if Mr. G quits so that he can focus on getting well. But, depending on how things go, Mr. G may end up going on sick leave. There’s no sick leave if there’s no job!

Sick leave may be inevitable, and the security of a steady stream of income during a time where we need income is very helpful. We can be frugal and wind down our expenses, but we cannot afford to skimp on organic food or alternative treatments which cost $$$.

Mr. G also makes almost twice as much as I do. So giving his income up to live on mine may not be so smart. He also works less than me and has more flexibility (!), but is not able to freelance.

My job on the other hand, is not so flexible but there is a strong precedent of going freelance.

By quitting my job, I mean quitting on very good terms and then negotiating a freelancer’s contract. I would need my current employer to convert to my big client. This should be doable.

I’m scared though, and need some encouraging words!

It’s a bit of a delicate situation, as I’ve only been working at my company for a year. I’ve tried to bring more flexibility into my job by asking for more home-office days (denied), and that raise that I asked for is currently being pushed.

Going freelance now could be offsetting to my bosses. Especially because I haven’t really ‘put in my time’ yet. From my company’s perspective, I’m still *new* and not very experienced.

I do have some good things going for me to negotiate a freelancing contract though, but it all boils down to handling it correctly and not coming across as screwing them over while using Mr. German as an excuse.

I very much like my job, so actually spent the day crying about it (today is my work-from-home day, so it’s fine). I needed to release the stress and clear my head. It took a lot for me to get here, and to give it up seems almost criminal. I’m also not the homemaker type – I like to have [paid] work.

Things are happening so fast here, I don’t even know if I’m thinking straight.

But I do know that I’ve been meaning to freelance in a few years, so why not now? Yeah it’s a bit early, but I have a good and valid reason to go freelance, that no one should take offense over.

Worst case scenario is that I go freelance and lose my company as my client, and then won’t get re-hired as a regular employee. I think this is very unlikely.

No – worst case scenario is that Mr. German gets sicker, or that I get sick from exhaustion of having to balance it all. That is much worse, and more likely if things continue this way.

Cancer is a big wake up call that something needs to change ASAP. It’s not about something happening *to* you. It’s about taking control and seeing what you can do to make it better. These steps are not always easy, but such is life.


10 thoughts on “Should I quit my job?

  1. You have to first and foremost do what is right for yourself and Mr. G. I think over the next couple of weeks, as you both talk through it, you will figure out what is best for the both of you. You sound like a resourceful person, so I would not worry too much about finding another job, if needed (I know this may not be as easy being an expat in a foreign country). Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you again DJ. 🙂 Nice to have your virtual support. We have been talking a lot about it, and the idea is starting to settle. If I didn’t like my job, it would be a no brainer. But I really really like it, and the people, so it’s hard to give up. Anyway, my notice period is 3 months long!, so even if I quit today there’s all this time from now until my last day.


  2. Hi Jess,
    I read this post on the way back from the biergarten, but just had the urge to reply now before waiting for tomorrow.. so apologies for any clerical or formatting mistakes.

    I understand the turmoil and the emotional stress you are going through. I agree with the other comments but let me be the voice of reasoning here. When deciding on all this do not forget health insurance It is very important considering the circumstances you guys are in. I dont know what insurance you guys are on. But if you are on public then please by all means stay in there and keep your job. I hope you guys get through this. But god forsake your husband gets worse and cannot work again or fired, if you are still having the public then he will be covered under your insurance. Yes it is not a possibility you want to think of.. but as they say be prepared for the worse and hope for the best. So think about all the possibilities before deciding anything.
    My suggestion hang in there, do not take any impulsive decisions now specially when the scenario is just setting in and stay with the job for insurance as long as possible. Think about alternatives when you really have no other options or have to stay with him.
    Public insurance with a freelance job may be too expensive.. but please stick to it if you should decide going freelancing.

    In case you go freelancer and want help withthe official registration send me a msg and i can guide you through the forms and taxes if you decide on doing it yourself.

    Hope you guys make it through this and if there is anything I can do let me know.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi prontorip! Thanks for your support and for bringing up these points. You type very well travelling back from the Biergarten. 🙂

      My husband and I are both on public insurance. Him on Knappschaft and me on TK.

      Couldn’t he stay on Knappschaft if he gets more sick/fired? Then it will just be me with my freelancing job and whatever insurance I choose (I lean towards private at the moment). I can see that if I freelance and need to stay with Mr. G, that I’ll have ZERO income coming in. But with a company it would take them 3 months to fire me! <– not that I want to be in that situation.

      I may take you up on the freelancer form filling thing. It seems impulsive, but I've been wanting to go freelance anyway. While it's a bit early for me, this is as good of a time as any without ruffling too many feathers. Having gone through this cancer battle with Mr. G before, I know how exhausting it can be. My candle is now burning at both ends – the weakest link being my job. It makes me sad to give up my job, but I'm also pretty sure it will make our lives better.


      • For some reason the previous comment was posted from a different login address. So now you know where to contact me.

        About the insurance, he could stay with the insurance provided he keeps paying into it. And without a job, it might be difficult. If he is too sick to work, then it might be a different issue. If you go private he cannot be under yours and has to keep paying into it even if he does not have a job. I am not an expert on this, but it is something you should make clear before taking the decision. I would suggest you to take a second advice on the insurance issues. Specially that it is the most important financial decision at this stage.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hi Richard! It’s been a few hours now since I replied to your first comment, and I’ve decided to slowwwww down. I know I’m being rash. I’m going to let the idea ruminate and give myself more time to plan everything out. I think I’m just stressed. I need to relax! THANKS!! 🙂


  3. Pingback: Entering my mid-30’s and still not pregnant | Ms. Canadian Expat

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s